Have your animal spayed, neutered

To the editor:

Once again the overpopulation of cats is news worthy in this region.

Obviously, the initial problem lies with people not getting their pets spayed or neutered. If the cat is a house cat, their owners feel it is perfectly fine not to fix their cats, especially the females, despite the health risks to their pet. Well, unaltered cats do escape the safety of their home and face the danger of someone trapping them, poisoning them or perhaps taking them from the home neighborhood and releasing them elsewhere. Kittens are born only to reproduce unwanted litters while another neighborhood faces the challenge of caring for the offspring of homeless cats.

There are many good people who care for these cats, but without the benefit of pooling together a collection to have these homeless cats fixed, the reproduction continues and the population continues to escalate.

Unfortunately, many of these caring folks are on fixed income and do not have the financial resources to spend on spaying and neutering.  They have called local veterinarians only to be told the cost to alter one cat can cost several hundred dollars, a cost realistically not affordable to these caregivers.

Because this region being grossly under served in providing low-cost spaying and neutering options, a mobile spay and neuter truck known as the RASCAL Unit comes to Jefferson County four weekends annually and to Harrison County for two weekend clinics plus a one-day clinic.

The following are the dates and contact information for the final three low-cost spay and neuter clinics with RASCAL Unit for this region.

Oct. 1-2: Jefferson County, hosted by the Brooke County Animal Welfare League, (304) 374-4443; openings for cats; pre-payment required.

Oct. 29-30: Jefferson County (Toronto), hosted by SpayNeuterOhio, (740) 457-9809, SpayNeuterToronto@yahoo.com; accepting cats only;  deposit to hold appointment required.

Nov. 16: Harrison County, hosted by SpayNeuterOhio (740) 491-2344, stacy@spayneuterohio.com or info@spayneuterohio.com; accepting cats only; deposit to hold appointment required.

I strongly encourage people to contact their local animal shelters and inquire about their low-cost programs. Some assist financially by providing financial assistance to folks on fixed incomes.

I run a Facebook page known as “Toronto City Kitties” where I post information on low-cost offers. Please check that page.

Whether you are a pet owner or a caregiver of a homeless cat, the best thing you can do is to spay or neuter even if it is one.

Cindy Miller